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Apple, Avocado and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

I am sure that everyone has “recipe experiences”…those times when the pictured food product looks so delicious and the sequence of steps sounds relatively easy.  So, you set out to make it for for your meal…only to discover that the actual preparation takes much longer than you anticipated.  Such was the situation in my kitchen as I eagerly began to follow the stated directions from page 124 of the November 2015 issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  My previous experiences with Brussels sprouts used the sprout either whole or cut in half…but this recipe wanted the leaves.  OK…be honest…have you ever tried separating the leaves on a raw Brussels Sprout?  They do not “let go” easily, and this translates into a tedious process while precious food preparation minutes slip away.  Thankfully, the resulting salad was not only beautifully green, but also quite delicious, so I was willing to make the dish again…but with a determination to conquer the “Brussels sprout leaf process”!  After close examination of a halved sprout, I noticed that there was a triangular-shaped core at the base which seemed to be the central “holding spot” for the leaves.  Using a short, sharp paring knife, I made slanting cuts on both sides to remove the core and then found it was easy to separate the leaves.  This extra step in the recipe sequence cut the preparation time nearly in half…and guaranteed that I would make this recipe again.  Oh yes, there is one more “Murray modification” to this recipe.  The original recipe called for using one-third cup of lemon juice in the dressing, but I have to be careful with the amount of citric acid in my food.  Luckily, I have access to a specialty vinegar store in my area, so I substituted lemon-infused white balsamic vinegar and created a dressing that perfectly complemented the other ingredients.  Try it yourself and let me know what you think!

Apple, Avocado and Brussel Sprout SaladAcknowledgement:  The beautiful plate shown in the recipe picture was created by Porter Halyburton,  a local potter.  The graceful hands demonstrating the preparation of the Brussels sprouts belong to my daughter, Meredith.

Apple, Avocado and Brussels Sprouts Salad

For the salad:
leaves from 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and drained to remove excess liquid
1 small avocado, peeled
1 Fuji or other crisp apple, washed, dried, cored and cut into quarters
For the dressing:
⅓ cup lemon infused white balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
For the garnish:
½ cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
½ cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
For the salad:
1) Remove the outer leaves of each Brussels sprout and cut the sprouts in half . Use a sharp knife to make an angled, “v-shaped” cut from the bottom to the top on each side of the sprout core. (For example, the cut begins at the bottom of one side of the sprout core, slants to the peak of the core, and then slants down to the lower edge of the other side of the core.)DSC01571 After removing the core of the sprout, the leaves will separate easily. Place the loosened Brussels sprout leaves in a large bowl. DSC01574
2) Cut the peeled avocado in half. Remove the large, center seed. Cut each avocado half into thin slices and then cut the avocado slices into approximately 1 inch pieces. Add the avocado pieces to the Brussels sprouts leaves.
3) Cut the apple quarters into thin slices and then cut the slices into approximately 1 inch lengths. Add the apple pieces to the Brussels sprouts and avocado in the large bowl.
For the dressing:
1) Use a whisk to blend the vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper together until they form an emulsion.
2) Slowly pour the dressing over the salad mixture. Use a spatula or salad tongs to blend the salad with the dressing.
For the garnish:
1) Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese over the marinated salad.
2) Use salad tongs to evenly distribute the seeds and cheese throughout the salad mixture.
Makes 6 servings.

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One Response to “Apple, Avocado and Brussels Sprouts Salad”

  1. Missy Says:

    I will be trying this recipe very soon ! We love Brussel sprouts and you know that I’ll go for the balsamic touch after our salad class in September…have made the Denver Rice salad over and over….just this past week I made it twice!
    Bet we’ll like this one just as much.